Columbia, Mo. (Feb. 16, 2009) — The international news agency Thomson Reuters has named Alonso Soto, BJ ’05, as its Latin America’s Reporter of the Year. Soto reports from Ecuador.
In the award announcement, judges said that the Missouri School of Journalism alumnus “was ahead on virtually every story all year long as leftist President Rafael Correa proposed and then won broad new powers in a referendum, rewrote mining laws and imposed more control over the country’s oil and mining sectors, and then defaulted on its debt.”
Patrick Esteruelas, of the political risk consulting firm Eurasia Group, said of Soto’s work: “His coverage of events leading up to and surrounding Ecuador’s default has been prompt, incisive and extremely comprehensive.”
A Reuters press release said that Soto’s coverage repeatedly won praise from customers who noted his accuracy and his ability to be first with breaking news. Some examples include:
- Soto developed sources inside and outside the Cabinet, especially the government’s politics minister, Ricardo Patino, and used these contacts to get first word on Correa’s plans, often moving debt markets.
- He had a series of exclusives from Ecuador on OPEC’s oil policy.
- Soto was first with news in November that Ecuador was invoking a 30-day grace period to decide whether to pay or to default on part of its debt.
- He was first with the news that Ecuador had seized TV stations, prompting the finance minister to resign.
- When Correa won a referendum vote in September giving him new powers, Soto wrote a quick snap analysis explaining what Correa’s victory meant for debt, oil and mining policy.
While a student, Soto interned for Reuters and The Wall Street Journal.
Updated: April 30, 2020